Tonight marks seven days that two year Nina Perez will be spending without her mother as she remains in the custody of the Department of Human Services. As we reported, the mother of the child, Analiz Perez, claims that last Friday evening, a social worker accompanied by a police officer arrived at her home on George Street claiming that they were there to take custody of her two year old daughter, Nina Perez.
The intervention from Social Services was the outcome of a decision taken by relevant local authorities acting on a formal request made by their Guatemalan counterparts through Nina’s Guatemalan Father. The matter was filed under the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction concerning the wrongful removal of this two-year-old Guatemalan child, at least, that’s according to Human services Department.
As we reported, CEO in the Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation Judith Alpuche explained to the media that Analiz left Guatemala and returned to Belize with Nina, but failed to notify or receive consent from the father prior to her departure. The removal of the child from her mother was quickly shared on Social Media as “kidnapping” and quickly sparked what CEO Alpuche described as a “media frenzy” on the matter, painting a negative picture of the way the Department of Human Services operate.
Today we attempted on several occasions to get comment from CEO Alpuche and from the Mother of the child in order to get an update, but were unsuccessful. But from what we understand the Human Services Department has decided to place Nina in foster care. We are informed that the child will be placed under the guardianship of a family recommended by Nina's mother who will be allowed visitiation rights. Tomorrow Saturday, a fundraiser will be held at the Central Park in an effort to raise funds to cover legal costs. There will be a Beef and Pork Salpicon sale and pastry sale. Your support in this initiative is urged and appreciated. The sale starts at 8:00am.
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